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Sweden/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.6 Media pluralism and content diversity

One of the overall aims of measures taken by the Swedish government within the field of culture and media is to safeguard freedom of expression, accessibility and diversity of content.

The mandates of public service broadcasting companies include direct responsibility for culture, e.g. broadcasting of programmes, which cover and debate cultural subjects and events, including religious issues. The relationship between the state and the public service companies are regulated by an official agreement as well as in law. Newspapers are supported by government grants depending their size and regional context. The growing number of commercial channels in Sweden, and the possibility to access channels from around the world via satellite, pay TV and the Internet, provide a wealth of attitudes, images, and icons which is difficult for a public service policy to monitor. It is a common argument in favour of government grants and public service broadcasting that the pluralism of the sector could otherwise be imperilled, considering that ownership of commercial media based in Sweden over the last few decades has been increasingly concentrated in the hands of a limited number of owners.

The Swedish Film Institute (SFI) is the central authority responsible for the film sector. The Institute now also includes regional film centres. These bodies help to encourage a new generation of actors, scriptwriters, and film producers. While SFI has so far been financed partially through an agreement between the government and various actors in the film production sector, the government will now, from 2017, take full financial responsibility for public support of film production. Furthermore, seven new objectives have been announced for film policy:

  • Development and production of valuable Swedish film is done continuously in the entire country.
  • More people see valuable film, which is distributed and shown in various ways, in the entire country.
  • Film heritage is preserved, used, and developed.
  • Swedish film is increasingly made available abroad, and qualified international exchange and cooperation takes place in the area of film.
  • Children and young people have good knowledge about film and moving pictures, and given opportunity to creation on their own,
  • Equality and diversity characterize the film area, and
  • Film contributes to strengthen freedom of speech and public discourse.

In addition to the traditional media, new forms of information and communication media have become increasingly important (see chapter 4.2.11). New technology and forms of communication create new possibilities for increased public access to the work of artists and cultural institutions. A large number of projects are underway to make the art and collections public institutions available via IT based solutions, for example, the digitisation of archives and museums and support to IT based art projects from different foundations and institutions. The commercial market of edutainment and electronic gaming is expanding rapidly.

Chapter published: 16-05-2017

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